“I Will Sleep”

What will you do in the village alone in the house
with your mother gone in autumn with winter coming?
I will sleep with the terrifying and brave blackness at night
of the village and of the house. I will sweep the yard
of plum leaves and pear leaves, with the short broom,
my back bent. Sweep, clean, tidy up, my arm repeating
a motion until I am woven with my dead into a clear
and living braid. Then I will sit in one of the chairs
by the white table and wait on the wind, the birds,
the ancient scent of the house, joyous and crying.

Tryfon Tolides


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